Summery Pasta Salad with Bush’s Best Chickpeas

This post is sponsored by Bush’s Best Beans in conjunction with The Women Bloggers. I am proud to partner with them in sharing this post because Bush’s is a brand that I love and use to feed my family and friends. As always, all content and opinions are mine. Check out #MyBestWithBushBeans for more great bean recipes.
Summery Pasta Salad with Bush's Best Chickpeas | erniebufflo.com
One of my favorite things to throw together for a last minute gathering or picnic is a pasta salad. I almost always have dried pasta and canned beans in my pantry, and I add whatever veggies, meats, cheeses, and herbs I have on hand. The result is almost always delicious and colorful, and when friends and family try it, they always ask for the recipe. That’s when I’m forced to admit I never really had one, I just threw a bunch of stuff together that I thought would work.

Summery Pasta Salad with Bush's Best Chickpeas | erniebufflo.com

Canned beans are a staple of my pantry, and come in handy for throwing together summer salads and meatless meals.

That’s how this Summery Pasta Salad with Bush’s Best Chickpeas got its start. We decided to take a last-minute day-trip to the mountains with my family and my sister and her husband, and I needed to pack up a quick lunch. Peeking in my fridge, I found cherry tomatoes, a couple odd ears of corn, and some cubed pancetta. I knew these ingredients would work great in a pasta salad with the Bush’s Best Beans I bought at Walmart, and a delicious salad was born. We all practically licked the bowl clean. That’s when I knew this thrown-together summer salad was a keeper, and I decided to recreate it and share the recipe here.

Summery Pasta Salad with Bush's Best Chickpeas | erniebufflo.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. pasta such as bowtie, rotini, or penne
  • 4 oz. cubed pancetta (you can sub chopped thick-cut bacon here if you can’t find pancetta)
  • 2 ears sweet corn, kernels cut from cob (canned corn would also work, and is a great pantry staple)
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (or spice blend of your choice, lemon pepper would also be great here)
  • 1 can Bush’s Best Chickpeas, rinsed and drained (If chickpeas aren’t your jam, Bush’s Best Cannellini Beans would also be a great choice here.)
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 8 oz. ciliegine mozzarella (These are little balls of fresh mozzarella the size of grape tomatoes, usually in a tub of brine. You could also use 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cut into bite-sized pieces.)
  • Handful fresh basil, sliced thinly
  • Zest and juice of one large or two small lemons
  • 2 T extra virgin olive oil (or salad oil of your choice, like avocado or grapeseed)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steps:

  1. Cook pasta according to package directions, and don’t forget to generously salt your pasta cooking water.
  2. In a skillet over medium high heat, cook your cubed pancetta (or bacon), stirring occasionally until it starts to render its fat and brown slightly.
  3. Add corn and green onion to skillet with pancetta and season with 1 teaspoon Cavender’s Greek Seasoning (or spice blend of your choice). Cook, stirring occasionally until the corn and onions start to brown.
  4. Add Bush’s Best Chickpeas to skillet with pancetta, corn, and onion. Cook, stirring occasionally about one minute more.
  5. Remove skillet from heat and set aside to cool.
  6. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Normally, you don’t want to rinse your pasta, but it’s necessary for a pasta salad.
  7. In a large bowl, combine the cooled corn/pancetta/chickpea mix with pasta and all remaining ingredients, and toss to combine. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and your spice mix to taste.
  8. Serve and enjoy!

This dish is not just good for gatherings and picnics, either. I like to make a big batch of pasta salad at the beginning of the week for my kids and I to enjoy for lunch. Pasta salads also pack great, and I sent this salad with my kids to day camp. The dishes returned empty!

Great for kids and grownups alike-2

Got any great summer pasta salads that you frequently throw together with pantry staples? Please share them in the comments!

And in the spirit of sharing, here are a few of our other tried-and-true, favorite recipes that make great use of Bush’s Best Beans:

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